Archaeological Evidence on How the Olmec Lived

The natural resources available in the area give an indication of how their cities would look. Archaeological digs in the cities listed above have found unique structures, buildings, and statues that allow people today to appear back through time and attempt to unravel the mysteries that surround this early group. Since all of this occurred so long ago, undoubtedly many secrets have been lost to the ages. What remains gives a very enigmatic look into a group of people who achieved high degrees of success and then vanished quite quickly for no apparent reason.

Near the large city in San Lorenzo, evidence of structures shaped like large mounds were found. These man-made structures did not appear to have any formal construction or even entryways in some cases. However, they did discover drains running through them formed by hand carved basalt. The general idea that currently exists in most traditional historians' minds associates these mounds with nearby Mayan pyramids. However, since the Olmec people existed many years before the latter were built, they succumbed to more erosion from the volatile weather in the area.

Other interesting finds within these ancient cities included the outline of an entire complex of both rectangular and round structures. These included what appeared to be religious buildings, a red palace, perhaps storage buildings, and fields for ceremonial ball games. These were played with rubber balls that share the name with the people, according to the Aztec record.